A Computer-controlled Drip Irrigation System for Container Plant Production

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1096.
  • | 2 Department of Agricultural Engineering The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1057.

An irrigation control system has been developed and used to estimate evapotranspiration of contamer-grown plants by monitoring randomly selected plants within a container block and watering on an “as needed” basis. Sensor reliability and operational ease allows application of the system in a wide variety of field conditions. First-year tests, using red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings, showed a reduction of 95% or better in both total irrigation and leachate rates with the computer-controlled treatment relative to a manually controlled, drip irrigation treatment without reducing plant growth.

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